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Top Ten Cities for arresting Americans


The top 10 cities where Americans were arrested and the number taken into custody:
1. Tijuana: 520
2. Guadalajara: 416
3. Nuevo Laredo: 359
4. London: 274
5. Mexico City: 208
6. Toronto: 183
7. Nassau, Bahamas: 108
8. Mérida, Mexico: 99
9. Nogales, Mexico: 96
10. Hong Kong: 90

Arrests WorldWide (Drug Enforcement)

Arrests WorldWide (Drug Enforcement)

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2,500 citizens are arrested abroad. One third of the arrests are on drug-related charges. Many of those arrested assumed as U.S. citizens that they could not be arrested. From Asia to Africa, Europe to South America, citizens are finding out the hard way that drug possession or trafficking equals jail in foreign countries.
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Drug Enforcement automatically monitors news articles and blog posts tracking breaking news of arrests and drug incidents as they happen worldwide .These inter-active News Reports are followed as they develop. Giving you the chance to comment on breaking stories as they happen. Drug Enforcement alerts you to topics that are frequently linked to and commented upon in the world press. Someone is arrested every 20 seconds for a drug related offense !Readers are solely responsible for the content of the comments they post here. Comments are subject to the Blogspots terms and conditions of use and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or approval of the Drug Enforcement site. Readers whose comments violate the terms of use may have their comments removed or all of their content blocked from viewing by other users without notification.

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Sunday, July 20

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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Friday, March 1

King’s College London says it will pay its healthy male academics, aged 25 to 40, to take the illegal drug Cocaine so they can research its effects.

King’s College London is looking for guinea pigs to take cocaine as part of a study on the drug.

JOSE AZEL/GETTY IMAGES/AURORA

King’s College London is looking for guinea pigs to take cocaine as part of a study on the illegal drug.

Students at a top British university have been asked to snort cocaine.

Seriously.

King’s College London says it will pay its healthy male academics, aged 25 to 40, to take the illegal drug so they can research its effects.

RELATED: 4TH GRADER'S 'COKE' PROJECT WINS SCIENCE FAIR

But those hoping for a quick fix will be in for disappointment as recreational users have been banned from taking part.

Student doctors and dentists are also not permitted to sign up for the clinical trial.

An email for the “important scientific study,” approved by the London Westminster Research Ethics Committee, was sent out last week.

RELATED: BRITISH GRANDMOTHER SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR SMUGGLING COCAINE

“After cocaine administration, repeated biological samples (blood, urine, hair, sweat, oral fluid) will be taken to compare and investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body,” the email said.

Participants will not be able to cut or dye their hair for the duration of the 120-day study, which is being supervised by the clinical toxicology department at St. Thomas’ Hospital, according to The Independent.

A King’s College spokesman said the purpose of the study is not to be sniffed at — and upheld the need to do research on the drug.

“This is an important scientific study to investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body,” he said.




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Drug lord Naw Kham is taken from a Chinese jail to be executed on Friday.


A notorious gang leader and drug lord from Myanmar was among four foreigners executed in China Friday, marking the first time Beijing has extradited, tried and put to death foreign nationals. 

Naw Kham and three accomplices from Thailand and Laos were given a lethal injection in Yunnan’s provincial capital, Kunming, late Friday afternoon.

The four were found guilty last year and sentenced Wednesday for the October 2011 hijacking of two cargo ships and the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River.

But Beijing’s decision to live broadcast the final moments of the men as they waited in their cells followed by their walk to waiting police cars to the execution facility has drawn criticism across China’s websphere.

The four were additional found guilty of smuggling drugs, kidnapping and hijacking cargo ships in the “Golden Triangle,” a section of territory that overlaps parts of Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos that accounts for much of Asia’s opium and methamphetamines production.

Beijing contends that, while Naw Kham masterminded the hijacking of the two Chinese cargo ships, he also colluded with Thai soldiers who may have been responsible for the slaying of the sailors. 

Thai authorities are investigating nine of their soldiers alleged to be involved in the incident.

The capture of Naw Kham – who was at the center of the region's bustling drug trade – was a coup for Chinese police and anti-drug ministries, which reportedly spent a year tracking the infamous smuggler.

The search was unprecedented as it marked the first time that Chinese forces were seen actively searching for foreign national criminal suspects outside of China’s borders

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Tuesday, January 22

Ms Sandiford to be executed for drug trafficking.

A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.

Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.

As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.

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Wednesday, October 17

Former American Airlines baggage handler Victor Bourne, 37, was found guilty last year of charges he used his access at John F. Kennedy International Airport to smuggle more than 330 pounds of cocaine

A voodoo-practicing, drug-smuggling baggage handler will spend life in prison as a federal judge hit him with three life sentences for turning American Airlines into his own 'personal narcotics shuttle service.'

Former American Airlines baggage handler Victor Bourne, 37, was found guilty last year of charges he used his access at John F. Kennedy International Airport to smuggle more than 330 pounds of cocaine from 2000 to 2009.

Bourne’s mom, Maria Alleyne, 52, stayed outside the courtroom, waiting in a vestible as the sentence was announced.

Victor Bourne

Life: Bourne's drug ring smuggled more than 330 pounds of cocaine into the U.S. using his connections as a baggage handler

Alleyne had traveled to Africa before the trial began and and hired a witch doctor to put a curse on the prosecutors, according to court documents.

'You personally exacerbated one of the nation's greatest blights,' U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis said at the sentencing in federal court in Brooklyn.

 

 

Bourne insisted investigators used 'false evidence' to frame him.

'How can I accept responsibility for something that I don't have nothing to do with? the Barbados native asked.

The sentencing capped a federal investigation that has resulted in the convictions of 20 people — 19 of them airlines employees — the seizure of large amounts of cocaine and the forfeiture of $6.9 million.

JKF

JFK: Everyone believed Bourne was nothing more than a low-wage baggage handler but his smuggling paid for cars, tuiton, luxury vacations, and expensive watches

As leader of the crew, Bourne made millions of dollars that he laundered through business ventures in Brooklyn and Barbados, authorities said.

Bourne 'turned American Airlines into his personal narcotics shuttle service, running a criminal organization that ignored passenger safety and security in pursuit of a greater goal — enriching Victor Bourne,' U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

Prosecutors built much of their case against Bourne based on the testimony of six former employees of Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines who pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking.

The jury heard evidence that Bourne bribed crew chiefs to assign his gang of corrupt baggage handlers to flights from the Caribbean.

The cooperators testified he also paid them tens of thousands of dollars each to 'pull drugs' hidden in the planes — and to keep quiet about it.

One witness described one instance when Bourne carried two duffel bags into a cargo hold so he could retrieve drugs off an American Airlines jet arriving from Barbados.

After removing a panel covering the wing assembly — containing 'some of the plane's avionics and other vital equipment' — Bourne 'proceeded to remove conservatively over 60 bricks of cocaine,' prosecutors said in court papers.

Another witness testified that Bourne accused him of stealing cocaine and warned he would 'kill me, my family and kids' if it wasn't returned.



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Friday, September 21

FIONA APPLE ADMITTED Drugs Were Hers ... Cops Say

0920_fiona_apple_03
Fiona Apple "freely admitted" the hash and the weed on her tour bus belonged to her when cops discovered the drugs last night ... so says the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Office. 

Cops say .... Apple's 2004 tour bus entered the U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, TX around 8 PM on Sept. 19 and officers performed a "routine" check of the vehicle. 

During the sweep, officers used drug-sniffing dogs ... which detected the presence of narcotics in a blue backpack. 

Cops say the backpack contained a glass container with .01 pounds of weed and .01 pounds of hash. 

For all of you squares law-abiders unfamiliar with drug weight -- the weed is equivalent to the size of a baseball ... and the hash is equivalent to the size of a golf ball. 

Cops say Apple "freely admitted" the drugs were hers and she was placed under arrest. 

According to police, Apple spent the night in jail -- and was released earlier today on $10,000 bond.



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Monday, September 17

DOCTOR watched his wife lose consciousness and struggle for breath moments after injecting her with heroin, a court has heard.

Ashley Sibery, 39, persuaded his wife, Sital, to take the class-A drug minutes after she confronted him about his secret drug habit. Mrs Sibery had decided to confront her husband because of his erratic behaviour, Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told yesterday. The general practitioner admitted to Mrs Sibery that he had been using the lethal narcotic for two months. She told him that if he did not quit his addiction then she would end their marriage. However, despite this ultimatum, Sibery managed to persuade her into taking what was supposed to be his final fix. The court was told that Sibery had wanted his wife to experience the feeling that he got when he took the drug. But after the injection, Mrs Sibery collapsed and started having difficulties breathing. The paramedics who attended their home recognised Sibery as a former accident and emergency doctor and managed to save his wife’s life. Sibery was then arrested and confessed to police his involvement in the potentially lethal incident. The story emerged following a hearing in which Sibery, of London Street, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to a charge of culpable and reckless conduct before Sheriff Elizabeth Jarvie, QC. Depute procurator-fiscal Karen Rollo told the court that the incident took place on 2 April, 2012, at the couple’s home in London Street. The court heard that before the incident, Sibery worked in the city as a GP. He qualified as a doctor in 2002 and had once worked in accident and emergency medicine. Ms Rollo told Sheriff Jarvie that the pair had an argument about how Sibery had been behaving in the months leading up to April. Mrs Sibery was concerned about how her partner had been acting. She added: “He had admitted to her that he had spent the last two months injecting heroin into himself. “She issued him with an ultimatum. She told him that he had to stop taking the drugs or their marriage would be over. “Bizarrely, he asked her if she wanted to try some. He told her that he had a small quantity of heroin remaining in the house and that he would give her it. He wanted her to experience the drug, to see what it was like. “The heroin was prepared and it was injected into her. Within a few minutes, she collapsed and lost consciousness. She started to have breathing difficulties. “An ambulance was then called to the house. The paramedics who attended the scene recognised him as being a doctor. They managed to keep her breathing and also stabilised her condition. She was then taken to hospital and received treatment.” Ms Rollo then told the court that police arrested Sibery and interviewed him at a police station in Edinburgh. The doctor confessed to them that he had given his wife heroin and that he had an addiction problem. Ms Rollo added: “The accused indicated that he had a heroin habit. He confessed to them that he had given his wife heroin. “He told them that he wanted to relax her and deal with stress. He told the officers how she slipped into unconsciousness.” The court heard that Sibery – who was on bail for the offence – was now in the care of a consultant psychiatrist, who was helping him deal with his problems. It is expected at that hearing that Sibery’s legal team will attempt to fully explain the reasons behind his behaviour.

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Anthrax infected drug user dies in Blackpool

A drug user has died in Blackpool after being infected with anthrax, health experts said. The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said a person who injected heroin died in hospital in the Lancashire town. It comes three weeks after another drug user, Declan Wallace, 48, from Kirkham, Lancashire, died in Blackpool after contracting the bacterial infection. The HPA said it believed he had injected contaminated heroin. There have been a spate of cases in Europe since early June, including one other fatal case in England, one non-fatal in Scotland and another in Wales. Breathing difficulties The HPA said it is "unclear" whether the British cases are linked to the European outbreak, which has affected drug users in Denmark, Germany and France. Anthrax is an acute bacterial infection most commonly found in hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. It normally infects humans when they inhale or ingest anthrax spores. Dr Fortune Ncube, an expert in blood-borne viruses at the HPA, said: "Anthrax can be cured with antibiotics, if treatment is started early. "It is therefore important for medical professionals to know the signs and symptoms to look for, so that there will be no delays in providing treatment. "It's likely that further cases among people who inject heroin will be identified as part of the ongoing outbreak in EU countries." He said an alert about the ongoing outbreak of anthrax among drug users has been circulated to NHS hospitals. Local drug services throughout the country have also been told, he said. Dr Ncube added: "The HPA is warning people who use heroin that they could be risking anthrax infection. "We urge all heroin users to seek urgent medical advice if they experience signs of infection such as redness or excessive swelling at or near an injection site, or other symptoms of general illness such a high temperature, chills, severe headaches or breathing difficulties. "Early treatment with antibiotics is essential for a successful recovery."

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The Pakistan Customs’ Drug Enforcement Cell (DEC), Karachi Airport Unit has seized 1kg of fine quality heroin that was concealed in the suitcase and footwear of a Ukrainian passenger.

The Pakistan Customs’ Drug Enforcement Cell (DEC), Karachi Airport Unit has seized 1kg of fine quality heroin that was concealed in the suitcase and footwear of a Ukrainian passenger.“The DEC staff posted at the international departure hall of the Jinnah International Airport intercepted an outgoing passenger, Makbul Khan, a Pakistan-born Ukrainian leaving for Donetsk in Ukraine via Dubai by Fly Dubai Airlines flight FZ332 from Karachi,” Customs official Qamar Thalho said on Saturday.

 “As the passenger could not satisfactorily reply to the Customs’ questioning, his baggage comprising a trolley suitcase was thoroughly examined, leading to the recovery of 700 grams of fine quality heroin cleverly concealed in false cavities and the metallic frame of the suitcase. Subsequently, the Customs staff also examined the passenger’s footwear and found another 300 grams heroin, which the carrier had concealed in the shoes’ cavities under the innersoles.”

 

The passenger was arrested and a prosecution case under Control of Narcotics Substances Act, 1997 registered against him. During initial investigation, it was learnt that the Khan was born in Peshawar and a doctor by profession.

 

The Customs DEC staff had earlier arrested two Pakistani passengers for smuggling the contraband Amphetamine to Kuala Lumpur and heroin to Jeddah. This was in addition to the arrest of a Pakistani passenger, who was trying to smuggle a prohibited amount of foreign currency out of the country.

 

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Guatemalan man was arrested at a South Texas border crossing after arriving in the country with more than two pounds of what tested positive for heroin hidden in his stomach.

Guatemalan man was arrested at a South Texas border crossing after arriving in the country with more than two pounds of what tested positive for heroin hidden in his stomach.

Officials at the Veterans International Bridge between Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico, stopped Marco Vinicio Lopez-Davilaon Tuesday. Court records show he was ordered to remain in federal custody until a detention hearing Wednesday in Brownsville.

A federal affidavit says the 28-year-old Guatemalan arrived at the border in a taxi and asked to be admitted to the United States. After he diverted for secondary examination, he admitted that he was carrying about 80 packets of heroin to Philadelphia. He was taken to a hospital, where the packets were recovered.

Defense attorney Rebecca RuBane declined to comment on the case on Saturday.




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DRUGMARINES Long range subs are apparently going all the way from Ecuador to Europe

DRUGMARINE subs heading for Europe. Little is known about these, expect that they exist. These subs would be more at risk of being lost because of accident or bad weather than being spotted. European navies (especially Portugal and Spain) and coast guards have been alerted and are looking.Long range subs are apparently going all the way from Ecuador to Europe, bypassing the Mexican cartels (who have been fighting each other, in a big way, for the last five years).Despite losing nearly a hundred of these vessels to the U.S. and South American naval forces (and dozens more to accidents and bad weather) the drug gangs have apparently concluded that the subs are the cheapest and most reliable way to ship the drugs. It's currently estimated that over 80 percent of the cocaine smuggled into the United States leaves South America via these submarines or semi-submersible boats.

Most of these craft are still "semi-submersible" type vessels. These are 10-20 meter (31-62 foot) fiberglass boats, powered by a diesel engine, with a very low freeboard and a small "conning tower" providing the crew (of 4-5), and engine, with fresh air and permitting the crew to navigate. A boat of this type was, since they first appeared in the early 1990s, thought to be the only practical kind of submarine for drug smuggling. But in the last decade the drug gangs have developed real submarines, capable of carrying 5-10 tons of cocaine that cost a lot more and don't require a highly trained crew. These subs borrow a lot of technology and ideas from the growing number of recreational submarines being built.

The Colombian security forces and other Latin American navies have been responsible for most of these vessel captures. Usually these boats are sunk by their crews when spotted but the few that were captured intact revealed features like an extensive collection of communications gear, indicating an effort to avoid capture by monitoring many police and military frequencies. The Colombians have captured several of these vessels before they could be launched. In the last few years the Colombians have been collecting a lot of information on those who actually builds these subs for the drug gangs and FARC (leftist rebels that provide security and often transportation for moving cocaine). That includes finding out where the construction takes place.

Colombian police have arrested dozens of members of gangs that specialized in building submarines and semisubmersible boats. As police suspected, some of those arrested were retired or on active duty with the Colombian Navy (which operates two 1970s era German built Type 209 submarines). These arrests were part of an intense effort to find the people responsible for building subs for cocaine gangs. Find the builders and you stop the building efforts.

Over the last few years the U.S. and Colombia have been desperately seeking the specialists responsible for designing and building these craft. This soon led to identifying and arresting leaders of the sub building groups. The U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) helped out, providing many valuable tips.

The submarines that have been captured have, on closer examination, turned out to be more sophisticated than first thought. The outer hulls are made of strong, lightweight Kevlar/carbon fiber that is sturdy enough to keep the sub intact but very difficult to detect with most sensors. The hulls cannot survive deep dives but these boats don't have to go deep to get the job done. The diesel-electric power supply, diving and surfacing system, and navigational systems of captured subs was often in working order. It was believed that some of those who built these boats probably had experience building recreational subs. The sub builders also had impressive knowledge of the latest materials used to build exotic boats. It had already become clear that something extraordinary was happening in these improvised jungle shipyards.

Ecuadoran police found the first real diesel-electric cocaine carrying submarine two years ago. It was nearly completed and ready to go into a nearby river, near the Colombian border, and move out into the Pacific Ocean. The 23.5 meter (73 foot) long, three meter (nine feet) in diameter boat was capable of submerging. The locally built boat had a periscope, conning tower, and was air conditioned. It had commercial fish sonar mounted up front so that it could navigate safely while underwater. There was a toilet on board but no galley (kitchen) or bunks. Submarine experts believed that a five man crew could work shifts to take care of navigation and steering the boat. The boat could submerge to about 16 meters (50 feet). At that depth the batteries and oxygen on board allowed the sub to travel up 38 kilometers in one hour, or at a speed of 9 kilometers an hour for 5-6 hours. This would be sufficient to escape any coastal patrol boats that spotted the sub while it moved along on the surface (its normal travel mode). The boat could also submerge to avoid very bad weather. The sub carried sufficient diesel fuel to make a trip from Ecuador to Mexico. There was a cargo space that could hold up to seven tons of cocaine.

The sub was captured where it was being assembled and a nearby camp for the builders appeared to house about fifty people. A lot of evidence was collected, and apparently the U.S. DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) used that to develop clues about who was involved. It was the DEA that put together the pieces that led to identifying Meyendorff and locating him in Argentina.

The Ecuadoran boat was the first such sub to be completed but not the first to be attempted. A decade ago Russian naval architects and engineers were discovered among those designing and building a similar, but larger, boat. However, that effort did not last, as the Russian designs were too complex and expensive. It was found easier to build semi-submersible craft. But more and more of these new type subs are being found.

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Paul Beales, 40 faces up to 20 years in an Indonesian prison after he was charged Monday with smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali

Briton faces 20 years over Bali cocaine bust

Paul Beales, 40, was arrested in May and linked to British woman Lindsay June Sandiford, who was arrested separately when she arrived at the island's airport with nearly five kilos (11 pounds) of cocaine.

"The defendant, together with Julian Anthony Ponder and Lindsay June Sandiford, was involved in a conspiracy to sell and purchase cocaine," prosecutor Wayan Terima Darsana told the Denpasar district court.

"He could face a jail term up to 20 years," the prosecutor said. Custom officials said that the cocaine had a street value of more than 23 billion rupiah (S$2.93 million).

Indonesia enforces stiff penalties including life imprisonment and death for drug trafficking.

Two members of an Australian drug smuggling gang known as the "Bali Nine" who were arrested in 2005 are on death row, while seven others face lengthy jail terms.Another Australian, Schapelle Corby, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for smuggling 4.1 kilos of marijuana in 2005, recently had her term slashed by five years after a clemency appeal to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

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Tuesday, September 4

Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

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Monday, August 27

27 charged in California-Mexico methamphetamine ring

 Local and federal authorities moved Thursday to break up an alleged drug trafficking ring connecting a major Mexican cartel and San Gabriel Valley street gangs, arresting 17 people in a pre-dawn sweep. A federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges 27 defendants with making, possessing and dealing methamphetamine imported by La Familia Michoacana, one of Mexico’s most violent cartels, to two Pomona gangs: Los Amables and Westside Pomona Malditos. Seven law enforcement agencies, including the Pasadena and Pomona police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration, were involved in the sweep. Thursday’s crackdown is the culmination of a probe called Operation Crystal Light, a 16-month investigation by the San Gabriel Valley Safe Streets Gang Task Force. The investigation was launched after a 2011 kidnapping among suspected gang members in Southern California. Officers said they seized nine weapons, an undisclosed amount of methamphetamine, other drugs, and paraphernalia in Thursday morning raids in Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The probe involved about 200 law enforcement officers and several undercover purchases. “The goal of the federal task force is to disrupt the network so it’s disrupted permanently,” Timothy Delaney, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Criminal Division in Los Angeles, said. “Today’s arrests took some very serious players in the methamphetamine world off the streets.” The methamphetamine came into the country in liquid form via airplane, boats and cars, officials said. The drug was recrystallized at an Ontario home before local gangs would sell it and funnel money to the Mexican cartel. Most of the drugs were being sold in Pomona and Ontario, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Shawn Nelson. Dealers were selling multiple pounds a day and making up to $9,000 per pound, Nelson said. He described the arrests as “a good dent” in the Mexican cartel’s local drug network. Three suspects were in custody before the raid and seven remain at large, federal authorities said. The indictment alleges that a La Familia Michoacana associate named Jose Juan Garcia Barron oversaw the transport of the meth between Mexico and Los Angeles County. Delaney said Garcia Barron is among the suspects who have not been apprehended. The 17 arrested Thursday were expected to make their first court appearance Thursday afternoon at U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

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Friday, August 17

BALI NINE RINGLEADERS ANDREW CHAN AND MYURAN SUKUMARAN ARE BOTH AWAITING EXECUTION FOR THEIR ROLE IN A 2005 DRUG BUST

Andrew Chan

. PICTURE: BINTORO LUKMAN S SUPPLIED

 
WITH their bids for clemency in the hands of the Indonesian president, the Bali Nine's Andrew Chan says all he and Myuran Sukumaran can do now is "pray and ask for a second chance".

Speaking for the first time since he filed for clemency in May - his last hope of being saved from a firing squad - the 28-year-old conceded there are moments that he goes to a very dark place.

"Definitely, definitely, I think about what lies ahead," he told AAP today.

It's his Christian faith, he says, that helps him overcome those darkest of thoughts.

"It's at the next step," he said.

"Obviously it plays in the back of your mind but at the end of the day, the best that I can do is have a positive outlook and keep my faith up, not just in God, but in my legal team."

Chan and the eight other members of the so-called Bali Nine, some of whom were teenagers when they were caught, was convicted of drug smuggling following the 2005 attempt to courier more than 8kg of heroin from Bali to Australia.

They received sentences ranging from 20 years in the case of Renae Lawrence - the only female member of the group - to death.

 

Scott Rush

 

Along with Myuran Sukumaran, Chan is the only other member still facing execution after Scott Rush had his death sentence commuted to life in prison last year.

Chan and Sukumaran rely on clemency from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono if they are to have their lives spared.

"The only thing that we can do is pray and ask for a second chance," Chan said.

"The toughest thing that plays on our minds is the effect on our families, it obviously affects our families and takes a toll."

He has turned his time inside Bali's notorious Kerobokan jail to helping others - taking a leading role in educating fellow prisoners and improving himself.

Chan says he's a better person now.

"Not only do you have a lot of time to reflect on yourself, you reflect on the effect of your actions on others," he said.

"Hopefully the president will see that. That we are rehabilitating ourselves."

 

Renae Lawrence

 

For Sukumaran, it's family also that weighs heavily on his mind.

"I'm very stressed. It's very hard to sleep," he said from behind the bars at the entrance to his cell block.

"The only thing that is keeping me going is my family."

Sukumaran lodged his clemency application in July.

"It's our last chance," he said.

Indonesia has not executed anyone since 2008, and the timeline in terms of when a decision will be made regarding Chan and Sukumaran's clemency applications is unclear.

Until then, they will remain as two of the 114 people on death row in Indonesia.

There is also no guarantee that Dr Yudhoyono will make the decision, with sources close to the president saying it may be left to the next administration, which would come into office after elections in 2014.

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Friday, August 3

Drug smuggling diplomat jailed

United Kingdom: stampUnited Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)An Ethiopian embassy official who attempted to claim diplomatic immunity after he was caught at Heathrow Airport trying to smuggle cannabis into the UK has been jailed. Mother-of-two Amelework Wondemagegne, a diplomat based in Washington DC, was stopped at the airport carrying three suitcases containing 56 kilograms (123lb) of herbal cannabis with a street value of £160,000, Isleworth Crown Court in west London was told. The 36-year-old initially said a man had given her the bags before she departed from Addis Ababa airport, and she then tried to claim diplomatic immunity. But the court found she was not entitled to it and she was jailed for 33 months after admitting one count of drugs smuggling on Thursday. Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson, the Recorder of Kensington and Chelsea, told her: "The fact that you smuggled these drugs in the expectation that you would not be prosecuted if you were caught because of your diplomatic status is a significant factor in this case." The diplomat, who had worked in the visa section of the embassy since 2006, travelled into the UK on April 7 using an Ethiopian diplomatic passport and had a ticket to return to the US on April 17. When her suitcases were opened by UK Border Agency officers at Heathrow's Terminal Three, they were found to be full of slabs of cannabis that had been sprinkled with chilli powder. Wondemagegne had claimed she did not know what was in the suitcases, but that she believed it was meat and spices. But photographs taken on her camera showed her with the bags. One depicted her wearing a necklace which was later found to be in a suitcase with the drugs. Judge McGregor-Johnson said Wondemagegne had told "a pack of lies" and that she was caught with a "substantial quantity" of cannabis, in the second category of seriousness. The judge described her as being "worldly wise", adding: "You knew perfectly well what you were doing and you knew perfectly well that drugs smuggling is illegally and seriously regarded." Wondemagegne's two children, aged 10 and 17, live in Washington DC and are being cared for by Ethiopian Embassy staff there. She has been their sole carer since her husband died of cancer in 2005. Judge McGregor-Johnson said of that fact: "It makes it more extraordinary you should have committed this offence." He told the court he was satisfied she had not been coerced into being a drugs courier and that she had played a "significant role" in the smuggling of the cannabis. Wondemagegne, of Silver Spring, Maryland, will be deported from the UK after serving her sentence.
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Tuesday, July 31

Aussie nurse faces death penalty in Malaysia

Lawyers for an Australian woman who has been charged with drug trafficking in Malaysia say she's suffering from severe depression and that police have breached her rights by withholding medical treatment. Lawyers also say that Emma Louise L'Aguille was physically assaulted when she was arrested for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine, or ice. The Melbourne nurse faces a mandatory death penalty by hanging if she's convicted. South East Asia correspondent Zoe Daniel reports. ZOE DANIEL: Emma Louise L'Aguille is from Melbourne but was living in Perth and working as a registered nurse, making regular trips to Malaysia as a tourist. On the 17th of July police allege that she was in the driver's seat of a car which they searched and found 1.05 kilograms of methamphetamine - known as ice or crystal meth. Possession of more than 50 grams of the drug attracts an automatic trafficking charge, which means mandatory death by hanging upon conviction. She says she didn't know the drugs were on the floor in the back of the vehicle. Her barrister Muhammad Shafee says she's been suffering from severe depression since her arrest, and her lawyers have had only 10 minutes with her before today. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: We could hardly get much information, especially because of her depression. She kept on breaking down. She was crying more than uttering any words. She is completely depressed. Because she just does not understand how this can happen to her when all she did was to be in the car in the company of some people. She has no clue whatsoever about the drugs. ZOE DANIEL: Mohammed Shafee also says she was physically assaulted after her arrest. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: On the day of the arrest, upon arrival at the police station, she was assaulted in the form of a very hard slap by a gentleman police officer, an Indian gentleman, that's all she could see. ZOE DANIEL: Police allege that Ms L'Aguille was acting with a Nigerian man who was also in the car and has also been charged. Her Nigerian boyfriend and another man apparently left the scene and have not been found by police. Her lawyers say she's asked police to allow her to contact friends in Kuala Lumpur who can vouch for her credibility but she's not been allowed to do so. She's also not been given access to medication or a doctor for a severe chest infection and pre-existing depression. MUHAMMAD SHAFEE: She is suffering from severe depression. She is undergoing medication, two sort of drugs she is being prescribed. And none of these drugs are available to her during detention. And in spite of the Australian High Commission officers having been promised by the police on the 19th that they will be taking her to seek medical attention, none of those things happened until today. ZOE DANIEL: The judge ordered that the accused receive medical treatment. The charges will remain tentative until the weight and make-up of the drugs allegedly seized are confirmed through chemical testing. Emma Louise L'Aguille will be moved to Kajang Women's Prison outside Kuala Lumpur until the next hearing on October the 1st. In Bangkok 

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Wednesday, July 25

BRITISH scientist arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Argentina says he is the victim of a honey trap

BRITISH scientist arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling in Argentina says he is the victim of a honey trap after being duped into believing he was starting a new life with a stunning Czech glamour model.

Cops in Buenos Aires arrested Professor Paul Frampton after it was alleged that two kilos of cocaine were found in a suitcase he was carrying.

But the Oxford University graduate said he believed the bag was owned by Denise Milani - an underwear model.

Professor Frampton says he believes the mafia tricked him into carrying the drugs by posing as Miss Milani on an online dating site.

There is no suggestion the model had any involvement in the drugs smuggling plot - or knew the mafia was allegedly using her identity.

The 68-year-old professor said he had been exchanging messages with someone he thought was the model - who won the Miss Bikini World title in 2007 - on a dating website.

Professor Frampton agreed to meet his online 'girlfriend' in Bolivia before flying back to the US to start a new life with her.

But when no one turned up after ten days he claims he was persuaded to travel to Argentina to catch up with her there instead.

 

Professor Frampton
Arrested ... Professor Frampton
Tim Stewart

 

Despite being stood up a second time, the professor - who was teaching at North Carolina University - says he agreed to carry a case he was told belonged to the model to Brussels.

He was then arrested days later and has languished in jail for six months.

The divorcee, who is described as “naïve” by his ex-wife, said: “Perhaps I should have realised earlier but the fraudster was very good and very intelligent.

“I never thought these sorts of people existed. For 11 weeks I thought I was chatting with an attractive woman.”

The professor, originally from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, claims he was given the suitcase at a hotel in Buenos Aires by a Hispanic-looking middle-aged man who told him it belonged to the 32-year-old model.

He told an Argentine newspaper he planned to take the case to Brussels for a new meeting with his “girlfriend” but changed his mind and was arrested as he tried to board a plane to Peru.

Professor Frampton, who is suffering from lung problems and is being held at Villa Devoto Prison in Buenos Aires, added: “The person I thought was this woman told me she liked older men and was tired of doing photo sessions. I fell for the story.”

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Saturday, July 14

Indo-Canadian Drug Smugglers Get 18 And 15 Years

Convicted drug dealer Shminder Johal makes his way into the courthouse in New Westminster where he was sentenced to 20 years on Friday.

Former CBSA guard Baljinder Kandola, who allowed bribe-paying drug dealer Shminder Johal’s cocaine filled vehicles get through the border without any scrutiny, got 15 years while kingpin Johal got 18 years. Kandola and Johal – along with a third man, Richmond resident Herman Riar – were arrested Oct. 25, 2007, after police found 11 boxes with 208 bricks of cocaine worth more than $5 million inside a GMC Yukon Denali that passed unchecked through the South Surrey truck border crossing into Canada.

METRO VANCOUVER — An Indo-Canadian cocaine smuggler and his corrupt “Inside Man” at the Canadian Border Services Agency were given lengthy sentences Friday after being found guilty of drug smuggling and other charges.

Former CBSA guard Baljinder Kandola, who allowed bribe-paying drug dealer Shminder Johal’s cocaine filled vehicles get through the border without any scrutiny, got 15 years while kingpin Johal got 18 years.

Kandola and Johal were found guilty June 29 on multiple drug- and bribery-related charges stemming from their arrest in 2007.

Judge Selwyn Romilly asked both Kandola and Johal if they wanted to say anything but they chose to remain silent.

The Crown had asked for 20 years for Kandola and Johal because of an “enormous” amount of cocaine passed through the Pacific Highway border crossing.

But the Judge chose to give a slight break to Kandola and to some extent Johal, who had pleaded with the court for leniency.

Kandola, a Cloverdale resident who worked as a border guard, and Johal, a Richmond resident who claimed to operate a car-parts importing business, were motivated by “profit and greed,” Crown prosecutor James Torrance said.

“This case is about the corruption of a CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) officer and the importation of an enormous amount of cocaine,” Torrance said.

During their sentencing hearing in New Westminster Monday, Torrance told Romilly that while the two men have no previous criminal records, the nature of their “planned and deliberate” conspiracy demands a lengthy prison term, reported the Surrey Leader newspaper.

“The scope and the scale and the sophistication of the conduct… push the sentences to the upper end of the range,” Torrance said.

Kandola and Johal – along with a third man, Richmond resident Herman Riar – were arrested Oct. 25, 2007, after police found 11 boxes with 208 bricks of cocaine worth more than $5 million inside a GMC Yukon Denali that passed unchecked through the South Surrey truck border crossing into Canada.

According to evidence heard at trial, Johal and Riar headed for the border in two vehicles, with Johal in the lead and Riar following, acting as the “transporter” with the drugs in his vehicle.

They timed their trips so Kandola would be the officer on duty, and he waved them through.

Police believe the conspirators made several trips between May 2006 and the day of the arrests.

Evidence indicated Kandola pocketed at least $10,000 for turning a blind eye to the smuggling, including $4,000 worth of work to upgrade his car, a Mini Cooper.

Riar, described as a “minor player” in the scheme, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2010 to 12 years in jail.

A fourth man, Vancouver resident Charles Lai, was arrested in March 2008 in the U.S. as the alleged leader of the smuggling scheme. He was sentenced to 13 years by a U.S. District Court judge in 2009.

During Monday’s hearing, Torrance asked the judge to order the forfeiture of $223,880 Cdn seized from Johal’s home – most of it in bundles of $20 and $100 bills.

Johal’s lawyer Danny Markovitz had argued during sentencing hearing that it would be unfair to impose a term of 20 years.

“It would ruin the lives of his children, his wife, his parents,” Markovitz told Justice Selwyn Romilly at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

The sentencing hearing began with an application by Sutherland Kandola and Johal’s lawyers to have the matter delayed until the fall to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared on the two men by an independent third party.

Torrance objected, arguing the judge has all the information he needs to make a decision.

“We are now approaching the five-year anniversary (of the arrests),” Torrance said. “The matter should not be delayed.”

Romilly not only refused to grant the application, he ordered both men jailed because their lawyers said they were unable to proceed according to a previously agreed-upon schedule of Monday and Tuesday for arguments.

The decision was a surprise that produced audible gasps from family members of both men. Two women burst into tears and one fled the courtroom.

After a five-minute adjournment, defence lawyers said they were ready to proceed and asked the judge to lift his order of incarceration, which Romilly did.

Both Johal, 38, and Kandola will now spend a considerable part of their life behind bars

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Friday, July 13

Gang guilty after being caught with £2million of heroin at a house in Edinburgh

heroin, kris brown, drugs

£2million of heroin found at a house in Edinburgh. Kris Brown was found guilty

Some of the heroin stacked neatly in a kitchen cupboard

THREE men caught with the largest haul of drugs ever seized by one of Scotland's police forces have been convicted.

The men were caught with almost £2million worth of heroin at a house in Edinburgh in December 2010, Lothian and Borders Police said.

At the High Court in Edinburgh today, Kris Brown, 22, pictured below, was found guilty of being involved in the supply of the drug. His co-accused, Lee Knott, 23, and Ian Hunter, 22, pled guilty to the same charge on Friday.

They were remanded in custody and are due to be sentenced in Glasgow next month.

heroin, kris brown, drugs

A laptop and drugs found at the Edinburgh home

The seizure, which happened at a property in Sighthill View in the Sighthill area of the capital, is the biggest drugs haul ever made by Lothian and Borders Police.

The drugs were seized as part of Operation Congress, an initiative launched in April 2010, which has focused on the activities of serious and organised criminals operating in the Lothians.

The operation has resulted in the arrest of 31 people, a number of whom have been convicted and are currently serving custodial sentences.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, head of CID at Lothian and Borders Police, said: "The three men who have been convicted today were caught in the act of preparing large amounts of heroin for distribution on the streets of our local communities.

heroin, kris brown, drugs

"However their plans were thwarted as a result of Operation Congress, which has struck a major blow against serious and organised criminals operating in the Lothians.

"Lothian and Borders Police is committed to protecting our communities from serious and organised criminality in all its forms, and we welcome any new information on criminals operating in local communities."

Lothian and Borders chief constable David Strang added: "Today's convictions are the result of a significant operation for the force which represents our biggest-ever drugs seizure and I am pleased the hard work and comprehensive investigation undertaken by my officers has yielded positive results for the communities we serve.

"Drug dealers impact on all of us - whether it be directly through associated criminality, such as housebreakings and thefts, or indirectly through fear and intimidation.

"We are committed to improving the quality of life for people living in the force area and disrupting serious and organised crime groups is just one way in which we can do this.

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Wednesday, July 11

Australian drug carrier may get 15 years

Prosecutors have demanded a 15-year sentence for an Australian man caught attempting to smuggle a large quantity of hashish and the party drug ice into Bali in his stomach. Edward Myatt was indicted in May one count of drug trafficking and two counts of possession. The 54-year-old had been facing the possibility of a death sentence in relation to the trafficking charge. However, prosecutors at the Denpasar District Court on Wednesday demanded a sentence of 15 years. Myatt, from Ballarat in Victoria, was arrested in February at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport attempting to import 1.1kg of hashish and four grams of methamphetamines in 72 plastic casings he'd swallowed. While he has admitted to picking up the drugs in Delhi after travelling to India from Yorkshire, England, where he had been living, Myatt has also claimed he made the smuggling run to Bali under pressure from another man, identified only as Roger. Indonesian authorities remain convinced, however, that he was working as a courier for an international drug-smuggling syndicate and suspect he had successfully imported drugs into Bali in the past.

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Tuesday, July 10

Five men get death penalty for drug trafficking

The appeal court of the Supreme People’s Court in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday upheld death sentences for five members of a 14-member trans-national drugs ring that trafficked drugs from Cambodia to Vietnam.

Nguyen Xuan Dan, 37; Vo Anh Tuan, 40; Vo Tien Thang, 37; Luu Hoang Thao, 30; and Hoang Phung Bac Son were given the sentences by the city People’s Court at their trial on December 30, 2011 but appealed for a commutation. 

However, the Supreme People’s Court on Monday rejected their appeal, saying that their acts were especially dangerous to society, and that thus there was no ground for a remission. 

The court also turned down the appeals of three others – Truong Van Hoa, Tran Ngoc Dinh and Lu Huu Loi – who had received life sentences at last year’s trial. 

The six remaining defendants, who had been sentenced from seven to 20 years, did not appeal their verdicts.

All 14 traffickers had been detained in 2009 after being caught red-handed smuggling seven kilograms of drugs in HCMC’s District 3.

The criminals, led by Dan, bought the substances in Cambodia at a price of US$6,000 a cake (three cakes make up a kilogram), transported them into HCMC, and distributed them to users for $10,300 a cake, according to the case file.

They were also found smuggling 300 grams of other drug-related addictive substances.

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airline employee has appeared in a Sydney court charged with being part of an international drug-smuggling syndicate.

JONATHAN Klein, from Blaxland in Sydney's far west, did not apply for bail during the brief hearing at Central Local Court on Tuesday. The 37-year-old, wearing a dark blue jumper and white shirt, sat in the dock as magistrate Julie Huber formally refused bail and adjourned the case until September 26. Outside the court Klein's lawyer, Bryan Wrench, said his client would fight the two charges of importing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug. "I can't say anything at this stage - the matter is before the court - but they'll be contested," Mr Wrench said. Klein was arrested at Sydney Airport on Monday after federal police allegedly watched him remove a package from an international flight and put it in his car. Officers searched the vehicle a short time later and allegedly found two blocks of a white substance that tests indicated was one kilogram of methamphetamine. They also said they found five kilograms of a white powder believed to be cocaine. Police said they found $1.6 million in cash and a small quantity of tablets and cannabis when they searched Klein's home later in the day. As part of the same investigation, NSW police arrested a 32-year-old man and a 31-year-old man in Sydney on Monday. Both are alleged to have been part of the same syndicate. They were charged with the commercial supply of a prohibited drug and refused bail.

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Indian man pleads guilty on drug smuggling charges in Australia

Indian-origin couple, arrested in Australia on drug smuggling charges last year, got respite today from an Adelaide court that released the husband on a 'good behaviour bond' as part of a plea bargain. The Indian American couple was accused of smuggling 200 gm of opium into Australia and their lawyer told the court today that the man, who was an addict, feared the wrath of his wife more than that of the law, while trying to smuggle in the drug. 56-year old Inderjit Singh appeared in the local district court and pleaded guilty to one count of importing a border control drug, local media reported. He was sentenced to nine months in prison but the judge ordered that he be released on a two-year 'good behaviour bond' of 500 dollars. Singh along with his 53-year old wife Jasbinder were arrested in October last year. They were jointly charged with importing or exporting a marketable quantity of a border-controlled drug and were facing possible 25-year jail terms. It was alleged that the couple was carrying the drug which was mixed with another substance and was placed inside shampoo and talcum powder tins and packed with chillis. Earlier, prosecutors had told the court the amount of opium in the couple's luggage was 10 times what is considered, under law, to be criminally marketable. However, today they tendered no evidence against Jasbinder and downgraded the charge against Inderjit. In sentencing, Judge Wayne Chivell said he would take Inderjit's assertions into account "with a grain of salt". "You went to elaborate lengths to disguise (the drug)," he said while jailing Inderjit for nine months. The judge also ordered he be immediately released on a two-year, 500 dollar 'good behaviour bond'. "I accept you have suffered greatly as a result of this very foolish behaviour," he said. Immigration Department officers were present in court for the hearing and escorted the couple "for interview". Singh's lawyer Jessica Kurtzer told the court the plea bargain reflected the unique circumstances of the case. She said an Indian hospital had legally prescribed her client opium for irritable bowel syndrome - only for him to become addicted. The couple, she said, came to Adelaide as part of a planned tour of Australia and New Zealand. "Prior to departure, my client's wife confronted him to see if he was bringing his medication (and said) if he was, she would simply not go," Kurtzer said. "He didn't want to argue with his wife about it (and) decided he would bring it to Australia in the tins, not realising the criminality behind it".

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Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shot dead the pilot of a suspected drug flight last week

Two agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) shot dead the pilot of a suspected drug flight last week, a DEA spokeswoman has said. It happened on 3 July when a small plane being tracked by Honduran and DEA agents crashed in eastern Honduras. One of the two pilots was shot after "resisting arrest", the spokeswoman said. It is the second fatal shooting by DEA agents who are working with local police to intercept drug flights. DEA spokeswoman Dawn Dearden said on Sunday that the security forces found two pilots at the crash site south of Catacamas. One pilot was injured and taken into custody. The second "ignored orders to surrender and was shot after making a threatening gesture," Ms Dearden said. Honduran police recovered about 900kg of cocaine from the aircraft. In June, a DEA agent shot a suspected drug trafficker in northern Honduras, while an anti-narcotics raid in May involving a team of Honduran and US agents led to the deaths of four people. Local people said those killed were innocent passengers on a river boat at night. Since April, the Honduran and US authorities have stepped up efforts against illegal drug flights. The operation is run with six US state department helicopters and a special team of DEA agents working with Honduran police, a US official in Honduras told the Associated Press news agency. Honduras is a key stopover for traffickers smuggling drugs from South America to the US.

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